Chapter 11.03 - REGULATION/REMOVAL OF ABANDONED SHOPPING CARTS
11.03.020 - Mandatory containment.
All businesses utilizing shopping carts or similar devices and having more than twenty-five shopping carts on-site shall install and maintain a system to contain all shopping carts within the property boundaries of the business or adjacent parking area. The business shall provide signage in a conspicuous location notifying shopping cart users of the containment system in place and how said system operates.
(a) Permitted methods of containment shall include any one of the following methods:
(1) A physical barrier, such as bollards, restricting shopping carts to the front sidewalk or portion of the business;
(2) Shopping carts equipped with a protruding arm or similar device prohibiting the cart from being removed from the interior of the business;
(3) A system, which may be mechanical in nature, requiring a deposit to use a shopping cart; deposit should be of a reasonable amount that would not deter the use of the cart, but would encourage the return of the cart;
(4) Shopping carts equipped with a wheel locking mechanism that is used in conjunction with an electronic barrier along the perimeter of the area shopping carts are allowed. The wheel locking mechanism will activate when the shopping cart crosses the electronic barrier;
(5) Other methods, including an effective cart retrieval program, approved by the county manager or his designee which would accomplish the intent of this subsection. In approving containment systems, the county manager or his designee shall consider the degree of cart loss at particular stores, the impact of abandoned carts on the surrounding neighborhood and the relative cost of particular containment systems.
(b) Legal Nonconforming Businesses: Any business that is nonconforming as to on-site shopping cart containment upon adoption of this ordinance shall comply within thirteen months unless otherwise provided by law.
(c) Upon request, each business shall provide to the county manager or his designee information concerning shopping cart use, loss, recovery and the like, specific to that business location and such other information deemed reasonable to determine the adequacy of the shopping cart retention methods. Such information provided shall be confidential.
(d) Each incident and each day of failure to comply with this section shall be a misdemeanor.
(e) The county manager or his designee may waive the requirement of a containment system if it is demonstrated by substantial evidence that a business suffers no loss of carts from that location within the last year.
11.03.030 - Identification signs for shopping carts.
(a) All shopping carts shall have affixed an identification sign which includes all of the following information: the name of the owner or business, a valid phone number or address for returning the cart to the owner or business, a notice to the public that unauthorized removal of the cart from the premises or parking area is a violation or state law, and for businesses with multiple locations, a number or address from which may be established the particular location in the event the shopping cart is unlawfully removed or abandoned.
(b) Each incident of failure to comply with this section shall be a misdemeanor.
11.03.040 - Retrieval of shopping carts.
The owner of any shopping cart found abandoned in an area other than the premises or parking area of a business, shopping center or shopping complex shall retrieve the cart within thirty-six hours following the date and time the owner of the shopping cart, or his agent, receives notice from the county of the cart's location. Failure to comply with this section will cause the cart to be impounded and a fee imposed.
11.03.050 - Impounding of shopping carts.
Any shopping cart found abandoned in an area other than the premises or parking area of a business, shopping center or shopping complex may be removed and stored by the county manager or any agent designated by him in any of the following circumstances:
(a) The cart is not marked with an identification sign meeting the requirements of Section 11.03.030.
(b) The cart marked or unmarked, has been left in a location which may impede traffic, pedestrian travel or emergency services, as determined by any public safety officer, code enforcement officer or public works supervisor.
(c) The owner of the shopping cart fails to retrieve the cart within thirty-six hours following the notice specified in Section 11.03.040.
11.03.060 - Impound fee.
Owners of any cart impounded pursuant to this chapter shall be liable for an impound fee equal to the actual cost to the county, to be determined by the county manager or his designee.
11.03.070 - Unclaimed shopping carts.
(a) Any cart, marked or unmarked, left unclaimed for more than fourteen days after impoundment, may be disposed of by the county in any lawful manner.
(b) Impounded shopping carts may only be picked up at designated locations at designated times as determined by the county manager or his designee. Regardless of any fee or penalty imposed under this chapter, shopping carts may be picked up upon reasonable proof of ownership.
11.03.080 - Civil penalties.
In addition to the fee imposed pursuant to Section 11.03.060, the owner of the shopping carts may be liable for a civil penalty. Any owner of shopping carts whose carts have been the subject of more than three occurrences within any six month period shall be subject to a civil penalty of fifty dollars per shopping cart for each occurrence in excess of two during that six month period. For purposes of this subsection, an "occurrence" with regard to a shopping cart owner consists of any notice to remove sent by the county to that owner, or the removal by or at the instance of the county of any abandoned shopping cart belonging to that owner.
11.03.090 - Ownership of carts.
For the purposes of this chapter, it shall be rebuttably presumed that the ownership interest of any cart in any area set forth in Section 11.03.050 has been abandoned by the owner when the circumstances set forth in subsections (a) through (c) of that section arise. The presumption shall not relieve a business of responsibility for any fee or civil penalty set forth in this chapter. The presumption may be rebutted by presentation of reasonable proof of ownership delivered to the county manager or his designee upon claiming of a cart pursuant to subsection 11.03.070(b).
11.03.100 - Wrongful possession, abandonment or alteration of shopping cart or serial number.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to:
(1) Knowingly possesses a cart that has been removed from the owner's premises;
(2) Possesses a cart with the serial numbers removed, obliterated or altered with the intent to deprive the owner of the cart of its possession either temporarily or permanently;
(3) Leaves or abandons a cart at a location other than the owner's premises with the intent to deprive the owner of its possession either temporarily or permanently;
(4) Alters, converts or tampers with a cart;
(5) Removes, obliterates or alters the cart's serial numbers; or
(6) Removes, obliterates or alters the cart's identification sign.
(b) This section does not apply to:
(1) The owner of the cart, his agents or employees;
(2) A customer in the business who has written permission from the owner of the cart, his agents or employees to possess the cart or remove it from the premises;
(3) The operator of a service to retrieve carts if he has obtained a permit from the owner authorizing him to retrieve carts and each vehicle used to retrieve carts has a copy of the permit from the owner of the carts;
(4) The county manager or his designated agents impounding abandoned carts pursuant to this chapter.
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